Media Round-Up: Week of December 3, 2023

BLFF Team | Dec 8, 2023


Happy Friday! Welcome to our Media Round Up. Each week, we’re collecting and sharing gender + politics stories. Here’s what caught our eye this week:


Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey takes on role electing female Democrats nationally

Alexandra Marquez, NBC News

Last year, Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey became the first elected female governor of the state and one of the first openly lesbian woman elected governors in the U.S. Almost a year into her governorship, Healey is taking over as the new chair of the Democratic Party’s Women Governors Fund, an initiative started in 2018 by the Democratic Governors Association in an effort to put more women in statewide executive office. For the past five years, the DGA has spent over $80 million support female candidates for governor, including all sitting female Democratic governors: “Healey, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek, Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, Maine Gov. Janet Mills and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.”

Read the full story here.


What to know about Sandra Day O’Connor, the Supreme Court’s first female justice

Savannah Kuchar, USA Today

Last week, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O’Connor died at the age of 93. Due to her southern upbringing, being born in Texas and raised on an Arizona cattle ranch, O’Connor dubbed herself, “the first cowgirl to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.” Nominated by former President Ronald Reagan after his promise during his presidential campaign to nominate a woman to the Supreme Court, O’Connor served 25 years on the highest court in America. She then retired in 2006 to care for her husband Jay O’Connor, who was then suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s. O’Connor played a pivotal role in several important Supreme Court rulings, including writing the majority opinion for 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey which “allowed abortion to be banned at the point of viability, or when a fetus could survive outside the womb,” and casted the swing vote in the 2003 case Grutter v. Bollinger, allowing colleges to consider race in their admissions process. Since O’Connor broke the barrier of women on the Supreme Court, five other women have succeeded her.

Read the full story here.


The year women saved Hollywood

Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times

Year after year, studies show that women remain consistently underrepresented in the entertainment business with 2023 being no different. The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University stated that only 33% of film protagonists in 2022 were female, and only 11% of those films were directed by a woman. Despite these low numbers, experts assert that women saved Hollywood in 2023. A few examples of how include: Greta Gerwig’s Barbie breaking domestic and international records in a dying box office, Beyonce and Taylor Swift revitalizing the concertgoing experience with their Renaissance and Eras tours and subsequently smashing the box office with concert movies, and Meredith Stiehm, president of the Writers Guild of America and Ellen Stutzman, the WGA’s chief negotiator, led the writer’s strike and won key concessions for the group.

Read the full story here.


Strong but ‘feminine’: how Nikki Haley navigates gender as only woman in the GOP race

Sarah McCammon, NPR

In a crowded primary that’s been dominated by former President Donald Trump, presidential hopeful Republican Nikki Haley has been working hard to stand out – highlighting the traits that make her unique including her gender and her family’s immigration story. When announcing her entrance into the Republican primary in February, Haley said, “may the best woman win,” explicitly referring to her gender. She also said that moving forward, the country will, “require doing some things we’ve never done, like sending a tough-as-nails woman to the White House.” While on the campaign trail, Haley has had to walk a careful line as a Republican campaigning on identity. Haley often combines speaking about being a wife and mother with her experience as a former United Nations Ambassador and South Carolina governor.

Read the full story here.


The World’s Most Powerful Women 2023: Are Women Key To Solving The Global Leadership Crisis?

Moira Forbes, Forbes

Forbes’ recent reveal of their annual list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women paints a complex picture of female power. This year’s list highlights a diversity of leaders from varying spheres of influence which features both groundbreaking newcomers and established figures, showing significant strides in women’s global impact. While this list highlights women’s advancements, it poses critical questions about the state of their power. For example, Taylor Swift rose from #79 in last year’s ranking to #5 in this year’s, ranking shoulder-to-shoulder with women leading politically on the world stage like U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (#3) and Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni (#4). Swift’s rise signals a new archetype of influence, a shift from the traditional political and corporate might. The analysis of Swift’s rise in the rankings is just one of the key findings in the dynamics of women in power based on the list’s rankings.

Read the full story here.

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